Following hot on the heels of the round up of first team training news earlier this week, Andy Leese has revealed that Joe Payne, on loan from Barnet towards the end of last term, has committed to the club for the 2019-20 season, Barnet having released him towards the end of April.
Joe, 20, had been at the Hive since 2010, joining from Wormley Rovers, and he graduated via the Bees’ youth set-up to make his first team debut as a sub at home to Peterborough United in the Checkatrade Trophy in November 2016, shortly after signing a professional contract. He famously netted against Town from around the halfway line in a Middlesex Senior Cup second round tie at the Hive later the same month.
He went on to make his full first team debut at Stevenage on his 19th birthday in April 2018, and made a total of 8 competitive first team appearances. He has also experienced loan spells at Grays Athletic, Solihull Moors (where he was named Moors' man of the match on his debut against Dagenham & Redbridge in September 2017) and Wealdstone.
Primarily a left-back who can also play centrally, Joe made his Town debut in a 3-1 win at Whitehawk in March and scored a cracker with his right foot to put Town 2-1 up and on the way to three points. He made a total of 6 appearances, the last of which was at Aveley in the 2-0 Velocity Trophy Final win against AFC Hornchurch.
Andy said "we're very pleased to get Joe in, as it gives us options and both centre back and left back. He needs to play regular football after limited game time last year. He has a great attitude, has lots to learn still, and we're delighted to be able to help him. It's also fair to say he's a winner, as he's already picked up a medal playing for us in the league cup win!"